Education for farmers and their communities is a critical component for reestablishing self-sufficiency after Ebola, and the farmers of the SPI Liberia Partnership Network have made education a priority. Continuing the collaborative action plan from May's stakeholder meeting, these self-organized working groups designed and conducted trainings and skill-sharing events that are accessible by all participants of the partnership. Seven trainings were planned for June through August, and they didn't stop there.
"[D]ue to the numerous calls by these women to be trained in the uses of fertilizer and postharvest hygiene practices related to the use of fertilizer, REAP decided to hold a three-day training in the Types and Uses of fertilizer and how to clean harvested vegetables." — Venny, REAP Executive Director
In December, the Restoration of Educational Advancement Program (REAP) conducted a three-day training for 30 women from Bentol City, Liberia and its surrounding villages. Farmers learned how to take a soil sample; differentiate between inorganic and organic fertilizers; apply fertilizers in several ways; and clean their vegetables after the harvest. For additional support, REAP also contacted the University of Liberia's Agricultural Department to provide three trainers to train the farmers—truly, the community coming together to power its own success!
With your help, SPI has been providing seeds through REAP since the start of this year. These women have been growing vegetables in various capacities—everything from back yard gardens to communal agricultural initiatives. By refining their agricultural skills and effectively using fertilizers, they increase their chances of growing robust, nutritious vegetables they can rely upon to provide ample food for their families.
Another critical component for rebuilding toward self-sufficiency is passing it on. Not only did 30 women from different communities learn how to use fertilizer, but five women were also educated as trainers for future gatherings. These women have the power to train others in their communities and ensure that future generations will benefit from their own investment. By educating themselves, these exceptional farmers have expanded their repertoire of agricultural skills, bolstering their communities' resilience against future disaster.
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